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Lesson Transcript

Do you know what day the 25th of December is? Many nations celebrate that day as Christmas. And Korea is no exception. In this lesson, you’ll learn about how Koreans celebrate Christmas Day.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question: when you think of Christmas, I bet you can't help but think of Santa Claus, right? But in Korea, Santa Claus is usually called by another name. Do you know what that name is?
If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
In South Korea, you can't take the "donation" out of Christmas, so around Christmas time, you’ll see many Salvation Army charity donation pots or 구세군 냄비(gusegun-naembi). You’ll run into these donation pots all over the city from the beginning of December. It’s the season of giving, and many people donate money to people who have to bear the harsh winter around this time of year. If you visit Korea during this season, you'll see people putting 1,000 won and 10,000 won bills into the pot.
Also during the Christmas season, you can often hear Christmas carols. Every year in Korea, famous comedians release a carol. Using their own buzzwords to make lyrics and the music of a famous carol, they release their own special Christmas carols. You’ll almost certainly hear these carols in South Korea.
Since about thirty percent of Koreans are Christian, many people go to church on Christmas. After lunch time, they spend time with their families or partners. That's why you can see many people gathering downtown or in shopping malls.
Additionally, there are people, sometimes called "One Thousand Four Angel Santas" or 1004(천사)명의 산타 (cheonsamyeong-ui santa) who spend Christmas giving gifts to orphans and bringing food to the elderly who live alone. Christmas is the day, regardless of religion, when people can show kindness to one another.
Here's our fun fact for the day! Did you know that Christmas has another name in Korea? It's 성탄절(Seongtan-jeol.) 성(Seong), is the Chinese character meaning "holy" and 탄(Tan) means "birth." So together 성탄(seongtan) means "the day the holy person was born." This can be used as another name for Christmas.
Now it’s time to answer our quiz question: what is Santa Claus called in Korea? In Korea, Santa Claus goes by another name; he’s called "Grandfather Santa." or 산타 할아버지 (santa-hallabeoji) When you call him grandfather, you feel much closer, right? These days, sometimes you can also see or hear about Grandmother Santa or 산타 할머니(santa halmeoni).
How was this lesson? Did you learn a lot?
In your country, do you celebrate Christmas, and if so, how?
Please leave us a comment at KoreanClass101.com
And we’ll see you next time!

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KoreanClass101.com
Tuesday at 6:30 pm
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Hi Listeners! What is your favorite Christmas activity?  

Tuesday at 1:15 pm
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Hi Sara,

Thanks for posting a comment.

Please see below:
Christmas 성탄절
Grandfather Santa 산타 할아버지

For more words, please refer to the vocabulary list under Lesson Materials or Lesson Notes under the Download PDFs drop-down menu.😄

Regards,
Claire
Team KoreanClass101.com

Sara
Friday at 4:06 pm
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Can you write out all the words in this lesson in Korean? I’m not sure how to spell the alternate words for Christmas and Santa Clause. Thank you!